Out and About: A Day in Japan

For the second installment of our Year of Dates, I had planned for us to spend a “Day in Japan”… not by flying to Japan, but by experiencing examples of Japanese culture that are available to us in the Bay Area. I think most major cities have neighborhoods that have a distinct cultural/ethnic flair, think Little Italy in NYC, or Chinatown in SF. But besides the restaurants and shops you don’t usually get a feel for being transported to the country of origin.  Not so with the Japanese culture in San Francisco, here you can experience Japanese architecture and gardens.

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First stop was a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden.  We could not have asked for a better day for our date.  The sun was shining and the gardens were in full bloom.  See for yourself the tranquil lusciousness that is the Japanese Tea Garden.  I would definitely recommend a visit, though come early to avoid the throngs of tourists.

Japanese Tea GardenJapanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

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After walking around the gardens we got hungry, so headed to Japantown to continue our date.   We enjoyed a lunch special at one of the many eateries, for me the special consisted of a small chirashi and a bowl of shoyu ramen.  Not bad for under $10 each.

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We then walked around the shops and also bought something sweet at the local Japanese supermarket.  I love Japanese candy. I can admit it here, I have a pretty bad sweet tooth and have the cavities to prove it.  Please don’t tell my boys, they are so much better than I am.

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But the best part of the date was making a last minute decision to have a shiatsu massage at Fuji Shiatsu. Hubby and I had been aching for days because of all the physical labor involved with building the treehouse.  The massage itself was not a zen experience.  It was painful, but painful in a really good way.  They really worked on our aches and pains, and while we were sore for a couple of days after the massage, we were soon joyfully pain free.

So there you have it.  Our second date of the year intended to take us out of our everyday routine and give us new memories to cherish.  Hope this inspires you to try something different too.

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